Vasim Farooq, MD, Wins Linnemeier Young Investigator Award

San Francisco, CA—The Cardiovascular Research Foundation has awarded Vasim Farooq, MD, with its Thomas J. Linnemeier Spirit of Interventional Cardiology Young Investigator Award in recognition of his academic and clinical distinction in the field of interventional cardiology.

Farooq is a specialist registrar in cardiology at the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation, Manchester, United Kingdom. 

“To win the TCT 2013 Thomas J. Linnemeier Spirit of Interventional Cardiology Young Investigator Award is both very exciting and humbling,” Farooq told TCT Daily. “To me it is a strong affirmation from my respected international peers, of the enormous efforts of the teams I have worked with, both on the academic and clinical fronts thus far.”

The Linnemeier award was established in honor of the memory of Thomas J. Linnemeier, MD, the former chief of the Indiana Heart Institute, senior vice president of New Ventures, and chief medical officer of Vascular Intervention at Guidant Corp. It is awarded each year to a young interventional cardiologist demonstrating both clinical and academic excellence to help stimulate their continued commitment and dedication to outstanding patient care and ongoing academic inquiry. The winner is awarded a $10,000 scholarship. 

Distinguished career

Farooq earned his medical degree from the University of Manchester and completed a cardiology fellowship at University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust. Farooq then undertook a research fellowship in interventional cardiology at the Thoraxcenter, Rotterdam, the Netherlands under the supervision of Patrick W. Serruys, MD, PhD, who he considers to be his mentor. 

“[Dr. Serruys] taught me the joy of combining interventional cardiology with research,” Farooq said. “To be positive, willing to adapt, challenge existing concepts, struggle for what you believe in, and to always keep an open mind.”

While undertaking his research fellowship, Farooq also began working towards his PhD in interventional cardiology, which he plans to defend this winter. 

Although only 5 years into his interventional cardiology training, Farooq has authored or co-authored 82 publications, including several as first author published in high impact journals such as The Lancet, European Heart Journal, Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Circulation. He has also been invited to present research at the European Society of Cardiology Congress, Acute Cardiac Care, EuroPCR, and will be presenting several case studies at TCT 2013. 

Farooq has a strong academic and clinical record in most branches of interventional cardiology, having conducted studies in both preclinical and clinical settings of areas of interventional cardiology including intravascular imaging, bioresorbable scaffolds and contemporary DES, development of clinical (SYNTAX based) tools to aid decision making between bypass surgery and PCI, and other new technologies in interventional cardiology. 

However, Farooq’s main interest lies in clinical research, particularly that which is likely to have a direct effect on patient care. 

Looking to the future

Although Farooq is excited to celebrate his accomplishments to date, he said that he has learned to look forward and not backwards in order to make real progress and excel. In the near future, Farooq is excited to complete his PhD and interventional cardiology training. In addition, he looks forward to his work on the SYNTAX II Trial, having been extensively involved in the design and set up of the trial. 

“My future is unquestionably in both clinical and academic interventional cardiology,” Farooq said. “The rapid pace of technological development in interventional cardiology is very, very exciting, particularly since this has a direct impact on immediate patient care.”

Farooq hopes to continue  developing his personal skills as an interventional cardiologist, to design and conduct clinical trials, and to translate preclinical concepts into clinical practice. 

The other finalists for the award were Lorenz Räber, MD, an attending physician in the department of cardiology at the University of Bern, Switzerland, Dharam J. Kumbhani, MD, assistant professor in the department of cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and Felix Mahfoud, MD, of Saarland University, Saar, Germany. 

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